It is that moment when you are ready to buy a home and the excitement yet nervousness sets in with all the details required to get your dream home.  It doesn’t matter if this is your first home or you are ready for that move-up home, the task ahead of you is daunting to say the least. Where do you begin? What can you afford? Who do you call? Buying a home has been called the most important purchase in one’s lifetime. I suggest having a plan in place and following that plan to the letter. Remember that without a plan, you can plan to fail.

The vast majority of buyers start on-line, where you are right now, but not only that buyers want to take the next emotional step of seeing the inside of the homes. You are compelled to visit open houses, new construction sites, calling that random agent who just listed a home in your favorite subdivision. The question that most buyers do not think to ask themselves is, should this be my first step in this process? My answer is a resounding no and in most cases it causes way more problems than it solves. It can add many layers of stress and confusion to an already stressful process. Consider this quick story.

For Example: A first-time buyer couple visits an open house after searching the internet for two weeks. The couple loves the home and wants to buy it. What to do, well for starters they have not even established any representation. In some cases, they will be stuck using the agent who was hosting the open house, who they do not know! The agent said she does not represent the seller and is just hosting the open house for the listing agent. Are they pre-approved for a mortgage yet, nope! They never took that step and worse yet now there is an offer on the table. They really love the home, so they have to rush and get pre-approved. They quickly find a mortgage lender on the internet who “approves” them. Now the agent is not returning their calls because she does this part time and is working her full time job. She finally returns their call, but now there are two additional offers, but she still submits their offer. Unfortunately they lose the home due to the agent drafting the contract incorrectly plus the seller does not want to take their offer with only a pre-qualification letter. The buyers did not realize the mortgage lender that they chose was known not to be reputable and did not do a good job qualifying them.

Unfortunately situations like this are not uncommon and can create negative experiences with real estate agents and the process of buying a home in general. What is the moral of the story? It is simple. Jumping into home buying without having a plan is not the way to go and can cause added time, expense and frustration. There is a proper order to this process and having a professional represent you makes all the difference. If you think all real estate agents do is open the door and show you the kitchen, we need to talk. Knowing that not all real estate agents are the same is a good starting point. It takes much more than that to be considered an expert in this profession. Having the skills to truly understand the value of homes. For example looking for economic obsolescence, giving an explanation of progression and regression, doing a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) for your buyer and the list goes on and on. The true value of a real estate professional should be understood. All these kinds of pit falls can be easily avoided.   The two most important steps in this process are choosing a REALTOR® for representation and choosing a mortgage lender to get pre-approved for a loan.  The REALTOR® and lender should be consulted first prior to looking at any homes. They also can make or break your transaction, so choosing them wisely is of the utmost importance. Generally meeting with the REALTOR® first has a better outcome. They can provide guidance to the many differences with mortgage lenders.

We aim to eliminate these type of experiences and instead focus on equipping buyers with knowledge of the process, establishing goals and timeframes, and certainly having financing understood and in place before looking at their first home. I make it a point for any buyer that is ready to start the process to schedule a buyer consultation meeting with me to get educated on the process and myself, even if this isn’t their first home purchase.

I have dedicated my career to serving the needs of my clients. In doing so, I pursed various aspects of learning to enhance my skills for all the different buyer experiences that exist. Earning designations like the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and the Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) have helped me along my career to serve my clients at the highest level of skill and professionalism. I encourage you to review my education to see all the earned designations and certifications and what they could mean to you as a buyer.



It is a joy to work with first-time buyers. Everything is new and exciting as you are ready for a whole new phase in your life. My primary years solely focused on first-time buyers and that experience has left a special place in my heart for them. Setting into a motion a solid plan will be key to a successful first home buying experience. I cannot stress enough having a buyer consultation meeting with me as this sets foundational principles for this process to be as smooth as possible. Getting you out there to see homes is always secondary to the process.   This is not only my philosophy for first-time buyers, but for all home buyers.



Oddly enough there are still a lot of buyers that still believe it is not necessary to have a REALTOR® when buying a newly constructed home. This cannot be further from the truth. The sales agent sitting that model home represents the seller (builder) and they cannot represent you. Just because they “guide” you through the process does not mean they represent you nor does it mean they have your best interests in mind. Their interest is solely to their client and their bottom line.  I have sold many new construction homes to my clients over the years and at the end of the process they were so grateful for my expertise and valuable representation.  Just like the first-time buyers, I strongly suggest a buyer consultation meeting.



Finding that perfect upscale home comes with its own challenges. Whether to build to suit or find a pre-owned home that fits all your needs is really the first question needing to be answered. The second is who to hire, which professional can meet our needs. Most high-end buyers expect the best in the industry and should strive to hire the best. Working with an agent that has luxury homes as one of their cornerstones in their business is a great start. Having a professional with an attention to detail usually is a prerequisite. Setting up a buyer consultation meeting is always a great start as you begin this very important process.



This one can be the most difficult of the buying experiences, as there are two transactions involved. Having a plan in place is vital. You thought one transaction was stressful, trying to sell and find a home in this market can be very difficult. Talking over your wants, needs and goals is very important. I suggest we meet at your home and essentially do a buyer and seller consultation meeting at the same time. We will review your home in all aspects and at the same time talk about what you are looking for in your next home. To make sure what you want is out there, we look at several homes first before putting your home on the market. Essentially making sure expectation meets reality. There are many details here and it is typically a longer meeting and in most cases can require a follow up meeting.



There are many facets to real estate investment buying and unlike the typical home buyer, which may be every 7-10 years, you may be buying a property every year or more. You may be buying a small single home to rent out or a multi-family home. If you decide to add real estate to your investment portfolio, finding the right REALTOR® to have as your go-to agent would be invaluable to your objective. This can also be investors that flip properties as well, not just keeping them in their portfolio. I have sold many properties that have been flipped by my clients.



When we say relocating, it could mean corporate relocation or relocating without being transferred by a corporation. Having a professional in these situations is a must. Most relo companies prefer the REALTOR® to have at least earned the Certified Relocation Professional (CRP) designation. There is less than 1% of REALTORS® who have earned this designation. I have earned this designation and have helped many families with this very stressful move. Even though some relo companies suggest that you use their REALTOR®, just know that as long as the REALTOR® is willing to work with the relo company’s parameters and understands the process, you can use the REALTOR® of your choice. It is far better to choose a professional that has the skills and experience in working with relo companies, as there are many more details involved than your typical sale. It is important to note that since you are either out of state or the area, that once in town we have a buyer consultation meeting.



Working with you to downsize in some fashion can be a hard  process.  Generally you are moving from a home you have lived in for decades. Buying a smaller home has its obvious challenges of getting rid of some belongings to be able to fit in your new home. Of course, we help you sell your current home, but the buying can take a lot of understanding and patience which we lovingly provide.



Not being in the military myself, it is always a privilege to be around you and to serve you in some small way. Many military families take advantage of the Governments VA benefits when it comes to buying a home. These benefits help you to be able to get into a home with zero money out of pocket. Working with a real estate agent that is familiar with these benefits and also has lenders who specialize in VA loans is a plus and can make the process that much easier.



Sometimes you just want to add these types of homes in your search as other possibilities.  Or you are specifically looking for distressed homes because you might be handy. Short sales (pre-foreclosure) and REO homes are not for everyone. These come with certain challenges that can be discussed at our buyer consultation meeting, however just know that you need to keep the repair costs in mind when looking at these homes. You need to know what things cost. I certainly can help in many cases.  Meaning if the home is listed for $200,000 and your repair budget is exceeding $100,000, that may be ok, unless the after rehab or final value is $275,000. Obviously that would not be ideal and maybe you should pass on it. This, of course, is a simplistic look at numbers but it is something to be prepared to know.



Remember when you hire a REALTOR® to represent you to buy a home, we are able to show you any and all homes. There are a lot of competent real estate agents out there to serve you. If you have one in mind already, great. But if you think you want to consider one more, please get in contact with me.